Sunday, February 26, 2012


A Toast to All
Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.

-William Arthur Ward

Conversely, showing gratitude to people is like presenting them with a gift; a gift from the heart.  We have so much to be grateful for this year- Opportunities, travel, meals, friends, family, and, as Blanche Dubois relied on, the kindness of strangers.  I would like to express my gratitude to the people and places that made our western taste of America tour possible.  

Our sincere thank you goes out to the following: 
(please forgive any inadvertent omissions.)

Mandy and Shannon for B&B accommodations, airport taxi service and enduring three weeks of doggy competition, 

Anne and Jackson for the best guided and well-fed week this year,

Dan and Margaret Curtis for enabling us to feel at home in Arizona,

Jackie for the loveliest evening in San Francisco,

Katie for bringing humor and spontaneity to stale guided tours,

The Russian bartender, Ivanna, for reminding me how lucky I am to live in America,
 The Vietnam Vet on the Big Blue Bus for his fortitude in going back to school,
The sea otter for joining us for lunch,

The honeymooning couple from Israel for proving what a small world it is,

The Grand Canyon Park Rangers for taking so much time teaching our kids,

Sam for showing us that neglect comes in many forms.

These people have touched our lives, big and small, and we shall never forget.

Our  experiences on this trip, as on our Eastern U.S. trips, confirmed the truth in Mark Twain's words: 

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover. 

Thank you to all who have supported our sail away from safe harbor.  Though I'm unsure of the future, I know we will never regret this year.

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